Women feel pressured to look a certain way based on the images they see in advertisements and magazines.
Unfortunately, the pictures of celebrities and models are airbrushed to perfection before they are released to the public eye.
People like celebrities and models dedicate time and money to their appearances and still have to be airbrushed. This leaves women to strive for an image of beauty that doesn’t even exists.
A thin body is a huge factor of what the media portrays as attractive.
Michael Jeffries, the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch said, “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
Abercrombie & Fitch offers only XL and XXL in men sizes to accommodate football players or wrestlers who may want to wear the brand, but women sizes only go up to large.
Women are constantly looking for ways to perfect their body image whether it’s through diet, exercise or to more drastic measures like surgery, all to feel accepted.
The success of weight loss programs geared towards women; such as Curves, Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig reflect the level of weight consciousness among women in today’s society.
Think about all the anti-aging products that are offered now; companies from Garnier to Clinque offer a serum or cream to appeal to women’s desire for youthfulness.
Procedures like liposuction, breast implants, botox and butt injections are intended to enhance women’s appearance.
But there are organizations and business out there interested in changing the public’s view of beauty.
Dove’s social experiment, “Real Beauty Sketches,” is a video of seven women who describe themselves to Gil Zamora, an FBI-trained forensic artist. Afterwards, different people describe the same seven women to Zamora through their point of view.
The two sketches of each woman are compared and successfully demonstrate the differences between how they see themselves and how others view them.
The pressure of what society defines as “attractive” can drive women to turn to anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders in hopes of shrinking their body to a “model” size.
People need to realize that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
According to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health:
- 95 percent of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
- 50 percent of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight
- 80 percent of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight
- It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men